Published: Fri, December 07, 2018
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Karnataka: Villagers drain 36-acre lake after HIV-positive woman ends life

Karnataka: Villagers drain 36-acre lake after HIV-positive woman ends life

Morab village in Karnataka's Hubli will witness hectic activity in the days to come, with district administration officials expected to drain a 23-acre lake and fill it up with water from the neighbouring Malaprabha canal. Residents in Morab village of Dharwad district feared that the lake, which is their main source of drinking water in the drought-affected area, has been infected with the virus, Reuters reported.

"The move was taken to allay fears among the residents, who believed the water of the lake got contaminated due to drowning of a woman infected with HIV in it". Unable to reassure the locals, authorities are now draining the 36-acre lake and planning to refill it with water from the Malaprabha canal.

As Morab residents stopped using the water from the lake for drinking purposes and instead took to travelling almost three kilometres for fresh water, local authorities made a decision to empty the lake, Hullur said.

Gram panchayat member Laxman Patil said, "We still have to drain 60 per cent of the lake and need at least five days to empty it".

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"The villagers themselves took the initiative by providing pipes and other equipment required to pump out water from the lake".

Authorities first told villagers that they would test the water, but no one relented. "The water in the lake is being cleared and will be emptied in a couple of days. It was decomposed, bloated... villagers decided not to use the water until fresh water was filled in the lake", panchayat development officer B. Nagaraja Kumar said. The reports claimed that she had been suffering from HIV and that possibly could be the reason why she committed suicide. More than 50 people are involved in pumping out water.

Navalgund tahsildar Naveen Hullur said "I will talk to officials to allow us to fill the lake from Malaprabha canal till December 20 or 22".

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